There are times in life where proper co-ordination and a guiding hand can bring together existing resources and accomplish something otherwise impossible. Many residents of Buffalo City have been the recipients of grants and land from local government, they are also loyal staff to local businesses and some may have money put aside toward owning their own homes one day. Restore Homes is positioned as a framework which brings all of these existing parts together in order to build homes.
The model relies on donor/employer contributions, government contributions and a portion which beneficiaries repay over a 5 year period. A Restore home is a high quality building, NHBRC certified, and beneficiaries are brought into the design process from the start of the project. The goal is to serve people, with dignity, realizing that it will be a home not just another construction project. The home itself has an innovative design which makes provision for two rooms, only accessible from outside the house (initially) which can be rented out by the owner – creating a revenue stream which offsets the portion that beneficiaries must repay over the first 5 years.
It has been immensely encouraging to see monthly repayments being made with little to no defaulting. Home owners have acted with great integrity, and faithfully stuck to their commitment to pay their way.
This initiative is not without it challenges – construction projects are complex undertakings and the added complexity of grant applications, rezoning and personal attention for beneficiaries results in fairly long lead times from first meeting to the official handover once the house has been built. However, with 5 projects completed and 7 in the pipeline, consistent progress is being made.
Restore Home was featured in an insert on eNews in March 2012.